PHNOM Penh's port has seen a spike in container shipments in recent weeks, an official said, as garment makers take advantage of the benefits of its association with Vietnam's new Cai Mep deepwater port to cut costs and the time of shipment.
Most garment containers are currently shipped through the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, but some manufacturers are starting to make use of the capital's facility.
Eang Veng Sun, deputy director of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, said 100 containers of garments had been shipped via the capital's port in each of the first three weeks of June.
"Recently, we have seen an increase of more than 10 percent - we've never had that before," he said.
Eang Veng Sun said the increase was due to the benefits of Cai Mep port, which opened June 1 - ships leaving there can sail directly to other continents. That contrasts with Sihanoukville, where all ships have to stop at Singapore.
Hin Theany, liner division general manager of Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), a shipping company, said half of goods her firm contracts to send now go through the capital. She said in the past five weeks almost 500 containers of garments had gone to the United States via Phnom Penh to Cai Mep.
"MOL is the first to ship goods out of Cambodia via Cai Mep," she said.
Hin Theany said clients benefitted from a quicker service to port: It takes just an hour to transport garments from the capital's factories to the port in Phnom Penh, compared to up to seven hours to Sihanoukville.